This dinner is just one step removed from a night spent noshing on crackers and cheese. All that separates the two is an easy-to-remember coating for chicken cutlets that constitutes equal parts crushed crackers and grated aged cheese.
As for sides, think of what tends to go nicely with the cheese. Consider a salad of torn greens, including some bitter radicchio or frisee, doused with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Or smashed potatoes made with olive oil and a touch of milk and, if desired, a handful of torn basil leaves.
Servings: 2 - 4
- 4 boneless, skinless, thin chicken cutlets (not thick chicken breast halves)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Juice from 1 small lemon
- 2 eggs or 3 egg whites
- About 1 cup finely crushed (but not pulverized) water crackers or saltines (from about 16 crackers)
- About 1 cup very finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 4 ounces)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
Pat the chicken dry. Place the chicken in a bowl, season with salt and pepper to taste, sprinkle with the lemon juice and turn to coat. Set aside.
In a shallow bowl or on a plate, beat the eggs or egg whites.
In another shallow bowl or on a plate, combine the crackers and cheese.
Working with 1 cutlet at a time, dip the chicken in the egg mixture, turn to coat and allow any excess to drip off. Then place it in the cracker mixture, turning to coat both sides and pressing it evenly to help the coating adhere. Place on a plate; repeat with the remaining ingredients.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Reduce the heat to medium and add the chicken. Do not crowd the skillet; you may need to cook in batches. Cook the chicken without touching it until the bottom is golden and crisp, 2 to 4 minutes. If the chicken sticks to the skillet, cook for another 30 seconds or so. Turn and repeat on the other side. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels or a brown paper bag; repeat with the remaining chicken. Serve immediately.
Adapted from "101 Simple Suppers," edited by Orlando Murrin (Hylas, 2003).
Tested by Renee Schettler.
E-mail questions to the Food Section at email@example.com.